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Best Rewards Credit Cards in Canada

Best Rewards Credit Cards in Canada

Running late and need to fill up on gas? Swipe your card, and you’re ready to roll. Forgot lunch and don’t have cash? Plastic to the rescue. From major purchases to spur-of-the-moment buys, there are many reasons why the modern consumer needs a credit card on hand at all times—but which card you reach for makes a huge difference.

All the major Canadian credit card companies are competing for your business, and the incentives have really gotten exciting. With massive welcome bonuses, low interest rate packages, and even cash back rewards, there's every reason to shop around for the best rewards credit cards in Canada.

Why Credit Card Companies Give Customers Rewards

Credit card companies thrive when customers use their cards more, and consumers will naturally use their cards more if there’s something worthwhile in it for them. So, giving customers amazing rewards motivates them to use a particular card more frequently. It’s really a win-win situation: consumers get juicy benefits, and credit card companies get loyal customers. And, as long as you're not exceeding your credit limit and you’re careful to pay the balance off on time, you can enjoy some terrific incentives.

Major Types of Rewards

While you can get a lot of different types of perks from credit card companies, there are four main incentives that Canadian card issuers will offer. These include:

  • Air Miles
  • Gas Rewards
  • Balance Transfer
  • Cash Back

Air Miles Cards

Ideal for the frequent flyer, air miles help you get to where you want to go for less. Every time you make a purchase using this type of card, you accrue miles. Rack up enough miles, and you can fly to distant locations without having to shell out any cash for the tickets. These types of cards are also great for people who need a vacation but can't justify forking out the money on the pricey airfare.

Gas Rewards Card

Next up are gas rewards, perfect for Canadians who spend a lot of time on the road. Each time you fill up on petrol, you’ll receive a discount on the gasoline and on items bought from the station stores. Most of these credit cards also give you rewards points each time you fill up.

Zero-Balance Transfer Cards

If you’re having trouble juggling multiple credit card bills, this is the incentive to look out for. Zero-balance transfer cards let you take all the credit card debt you have from multiple cards and transfer it to a single, new card. The benefit here is that you'll end up paying less interest on the overall amount and only have a single bill to manage each month. Many cards charge a fee for balance transfers, so a no-fee transfer is an excellent perk.

Cash Back Cards

Now, for the most exciting incentive of all.  Cash back is just what it sounds like; you receive money back on purchases made with your card. Companies will vary the percentage given back, sometimes giving generous introductory rates of 5-6%, post-promotion rates of 3-4% for specific item types like groceries, and 1-2% for everything else at all times. Whatever the amount, it’s a fabulous chance to get money back for purchases you’re making anyway.

Getting the Right Card for You

So, which is the best incentive? That really depends on what you’re looking for. If you travel a lot, you’ll want to opt for an air miles card; if you spend frequently, make the most with cash back rewards. There are even cards that offer a combination of benefits, so you can really maximize your returns by choosing wisely. Which brings us to our next point...

Best Rewards Credit Cards in Canada

Canadians are always on the lookout for the best credit cards with solid rewards on offer. While there's plenty of competition on the market, there are a few card companies that stand out among the rest. Here are a few top recommendations for the best rewards credit cards in Canada that’ll deliver strong rewards and help you with your monthly spending.

  • MBNA Rewards World Elite Mastercard
  • Scotiabank Gold American Express
  • The Starwood Preferred Guest Credit Card from American Express
  • BMO Rewards World Elite Mastercard
  • BMO Air Miles World Elite Mastercard
  • American Express Gold Reward Cards

Each of these cards has attractive incentives that you can take advantage of. Some sites allow you to compare them side-by-side, and read in-depth reviews covering all the important details of the card. So, do a little homework, and you’ll walk away with a solid rewards program that keeps giving back to you.

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